Bots reneges on joint AFCON bid with Zim
Gaborone – The chief executive officer of Botswana Football Association (BFA), Keith Masters, this week said that the association has decided to drop the idea of co-hosting 2017 African Nations Cup (AFCON) finals with Zimbabwe.
He said the football association National Executive Committee “explored the feasibility of the proposal and while it was felt the invitation was a novel one the committee resolved not to explore the possibility of co-hosting this nor taking part in its organisation in any form or shape”.
This consideration, Masters said, is in lieu of the strategy of the BFA to focus on hosting regional competitions prior to engagement at continental level.
BFA had agreed to make a joint bid with Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) to host the 2017 African Nations Cup (AFCON) finals.
In addition, the BAF president Tebogo Sebego is quoted in the local media as saying that while there were inquiries from Zimbabwe and South Africa on a joint bid, “the costs proved prohibitive”.
“As BFA, we sat and agreed that our strategy is to bid for regional competitions before we go continental. Having done research, the NEC was unanimous that we do not bid for 2017,” Sebego said.
Sebego, however, is also quoted as saying that after doing groundwork, it was discovered hosting costs were too high.
Again, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) wanted the bidding nations to have an existing 40 000 capacity stadium since the competition is only two years away.
“It would have cost us in excess of P300 million for 50 percent joint bidding in addition to other requirements,” Sebego said.
He said the association had shown interest, not necessarily that it was going to bid since it had to explore first.
“It is not for the government to decide, but for the BFA to make a decision first before the government is engaged.
We had to do a background check first,” Sebego said, while admitting to a conversation with South African Football Association (SAFA) president, Danny Jordan about co-hosting.
Sebego, however, said he was not too keen on the idea due to steep hosting requirements, which include a US$20 million guarantee.